Udit Goenka is a successful entrepreneur hailing from Mumbai, Maharashtra. He is also the founder and CEO of his ventures, Pitch Ground and Firstsales.io. Udit Goenka bootstrapped himself to $20 million, and there has been no turning back ever since.
Q) Tell us about how you started your Entrepreneurship journey?
Udit Goenka – My journey started back when I was 16. It was one of the best days of my life as gaming intrigued me and got me on the Internet. And from there, I wanted to learn more about design, eventually becoming more curious about how development is done.
That curious journey of mine where I have just been curious about certain things and that curiosity has always drawn me to my passion. I have always believed that one should chase that curiosity because unless you’re aware of something that is really in the world, you will not take your passion seriously. That was my first project, and everything started from there.
Q) Tell us about your venture, ‘Pitch Ground.’
Udit Goenka – After my previous startup failed miserably, I lost around $200,000, and I had depression for almost nine months of my life. I wanted to move on, but I couldn’t move on because there is always this fear and pressure after failing something, and you don’t know whether you can go further.
Even though I had two successful startups before the failure, the biggest challenge I lived by was that I could not get closure because I was asking the wrong questions to myself. And when I was thinking about how and when this happened, I landed on this TEDTalk video by Simon Sinek.
It was a great TEDTalk that helped me because I read about the world’s most powerful word, WHY. The funny thing about why is that you have all the answers in your mind; it’s sitting in your subconscious mind. You have all of the answers to most of the questions. But unless you had that conversation with yourself, you would not get the answers to all those questions.
And when I started researching my way, I landed on this article where I read that 92% of SAS companies in the UK fail within the first three years. And my first reaction was that this was me because I could relate to everything being said, and it made me more curious about what I could do to be in that 8%.
A very simplistic answer to this is small businesses that cannot afford to buy expensive software. Then I started researching more about it, and I started talking to more founders, and then, based on all of those statistics, I ended up building Pitch Ground. It’s like Amazon for software, where at least companies can meet small businesses or early adopters.
Their challenge is to make the users a dominance of goods because if you use something, you keep talking about it on the Internet. And that’s where I could connect the dots because when it comes to marketplaces, you want to sell but have buyers and resistance. So, you must create a demand, the story behind Pitch Ground.
Q) How do you overcome challenges in Entrepreneurship?
Udit Goenka – I think one needs to get going. You will probably have three good days in a month and only then bad days when you’re running any startup. But that three days will overpower and overshadow your 27 bad days. You’ll have more bad days than good ones in your entrepreneurship journey, but you must cherish every good day.
It’s very important to understand that you get going, but at the same time, it’s also important to understand that if you take things on and think you’re still clueless, you need to understand when to stop. Because if I had probably stopped a little early in my journey, I would’ve probably saved myself.
Today it’s very easy to reach out to people on Instagram and LinkedIn, so it’s easy to ask questions to genuine people because, trust me, good entrepreneurs and people who care will always respond. So get going and also understand what decisions you need to take.
More importantly, when starting with goals, go slowly because it improves your chances of winning. Eventually, you will make fewer mistakes and optimize your business.
Q) What is the future of today’s generation’s entrepreneurs?
Udit Goenka – One of the things that I would recommend to all of the upcoming budding entrepreneurs, especially in their early twenties, is to have a very clear philosophy of not starting entrepreneurship too early because there are two major challenges.
The first is money, and the second is experience. But all days it is the third one, which is lack of distribution. I recommend that life is too short of making mistakes with your money. You make mistakes with other people’s money when you do a job. So, your early twenties should be about making a mistake with other people’s money, not yours.
In your early twenties, get a job in a startup because you learn how to optimize from 23 to 25. Join a funded startup; you will eventually learn to grow in your late twenties. You can also join a corporate because you will learn how to manage funds, bail connections, and grow the enterprises.
I think 29 or 30 should be the ideal age to go out there and start your venture. More than that, you would have money in the bank because you would have joined corporate, which will help you build seed capital. Because when you do this, you are ensuring that the mistakes you will make will be unique.
The most valuable asset you have in your life is your equity because I have seen people throw away that equity as if it’s a piece of bread or a leftover. Every budding entrepreneur, especially those in their early twenties, is a beautiful time to get into the ecosystem, learn, grow and build something incredible down the road.
Q) Tell us some secret tips and hacks to get successful?
Udit Goenka – If you want to achieve something, you must work harder. Honestly, the word smarter doesn’t exist in anyone’s dictionary. You have to go out there and put in work every single day. Even today, I’ve put in about 14 hours every day. Sometimes it goes with 16 hours. Sometimes, my business requires me to work for 20 hours, and I never complain.
I thought what is very important is that you need to get going every single day and be consistent. People will talk about work-life balance, but if you want to become an entrepreneur, there is no work-life balance. You cannot take breaks.
In the future, everything will definitely be a lot more severe. But at least during the first five years, you have to put all of the odds within all your money into your business and grow because that’s the investment, and that’s the commitment you need to make towards your startup.
Your startup will grow quickly in the first five years, so you must work hard. The next five years is where the growth year comes into the picture, so there is no alternative to hard work.
Udit Goenka believes that upcoming entrepreneurs have great potential to succeed if they work hard. He also aims to help startups grow by providing sales coaching and advice through social media.
Check out the inspiring conversation with Udit Goenka on our YouTube Channel.